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Headliners | 15 August 2008
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By: David Lee
Articles (57) Profile

OCBC Unveils 10m Preference Share Offering

Just two months after it launched a $1b preference share offering, OCBC Bank is launching another issue of 10m preference shares to raise up to $1.5b. The non-convertible and non-cumulative shares will be offered at $100 each. The offering may be increased to as many as 15m preference shares if demand exceeds 10m.

David Conner, OCBC’s chief executive, said at the bank’s results briefing last week that this move was precipitated by demand in the marketplace as well as it is a good time to raise money. He also added that the bank’s “significantly growing book” would require more capital.

The shares, which will be offered to both retail and institutional investors, would pay a fixed dividend of 5.1% a year, payable twice a year in March and September, for the first 10 years – until Sept 20, 2018. The shares have been rated investment grade by rating agencies such as an A- from Standard and Poor’s.

Pacific Shipping Trust To Raise US$92.3m

As the global credit crunch starts to affect Singapore shipping companies, Pacific Shipping Trust (PST) announced a plan to raise $92.3m from the stock market through a non-renounceable preferential offering of new units. The proceeds are mainly intended to finance and refinance part of cost of four new vessels.

Said Alvin Cheng, trustee-manager PST Management’s CEO, “while financing for the new vessels has already been secured, the proceeds of the preferential offering will lower our aggregate gearing, providing us with financial flexibilty to react swiftly as yield–accretive investment oppportunities arise. The move will help strengthen PST’s balance sheet and reduce its leverage to 50% from 69%. This will increase PST’s borrowing capacity to US$120.5m and enable it to pursue medium-term yield growth opportunities.

SingTel Leads Mobile Subscriber Gains In 2Q

The first bout in Singapore’s re-invigorated mobile landscape has gone the way of Singapore Telecommunications, with the company reporting the largest increase in cellular subscribers for the second quarter of this year. Singtel added 182,000 new local customers for the three months ended June 30, bringing its cell-phone user base here up 6.6% to 2.75m.

The increase was the largest among the three local operators for the quarter, a period which marked the introduction of true mobile number portability (MNP) in Singapore. Collectively, Singapore’s handphone subscriptions have now swelled to 6.15m, translating to a mobile penetration of 134.2%.

According to SingTel, its subscriber growth in the second quarter was fuelled by strong demand for its prepaid mobile business, especially among the growing population of foreign workers. The group added 151,000 new prepaid customers in the quarter, cementing SingTel’s lead in this space with a total of 1.34m customers.

CK Tang Posts Loss Of $2.6m

Losses continue to plague retailer CK Tang, which slide into the red to the tune of $2.6m in the first quarter, reversing a small profit of $0.36m. With turnover essentially flat for the period ended June 30, CK Tang’s profitability was hit by a rise in expenses.

CK Tang, whose flagship store is in Orchard Road, said the increase in operating expenses was mainly contributed by the opening of its new store in Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur. Disgruntled shareholders who attended CK Tang’s annual general meeting last month had peppered its management with questions about its move to again open a Kuala Lumpur outlet, even though a previous foray there lost money.

“The new stores at the Pavilion and VivoCity are still in the initial stages of business operations, and are likely to have an impact on the financial performance of the group,” it said. The firm did, however, say the staging of the Formula 1 event here next month may have a “positive impact” on sales.

Singtel  3.160 -- --   
Business: Asia's leading communications group. [FY19 Turnover] Mobile Comm (31.1%), Data & Internet (19.2%), Infocomm Technology (17.5%), Sale of Eqmt (16.5%), Digital Biz (7.2%), Fixed Voice (5.2%), Pay-TV (2.1%), Leasing (0.8%), others (0.4%).

Insight: May-19, FY19 operating revenue remained flat at $1... Read More
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp  10.780 -- --   
Business: [FY18 Turnover] Global corporate/investment banking (35%), global consumer/private banking (34.8%), OCBC Wing Hang (11.5%), insurance (11%), global treasury & mkts (7.7%).

Insight: May-19, 1Q19 total income rose 14.7% driven by str... Read More

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